Role of Eastern Religions in modern medicine
Belief systems define the values and norms that shape peoples behavior, inter-personal relationships and the way they view life. There are different types of belief systems across the globe and all of them in one or another influence people either politically, socially, economically and even culturally. The Eastern religious traditions are among the many belief systems and are mainly practiced by people in Eastern countries especially in Asia and the Middle East. Some of the Eastern Religious Traditions include: Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Sikhism, and Shintoism among other religions and cults. These traditions other than defining the norms to be followed by people to enhance acceptability in the societies, they play a very important role in enhancing treatment for various ailments (Woodhead, 2002). The different Eastern Religions have come up with ways through which uniquely cure various ailments
Taoism belief system in China is usually based on observing nature and identifying how various things in the environment influence human beings. Taoists tried to prolong their life by eating healthy natural foods and even made medicine using medicinal plants. To further build on health, they used to constantly engage in physical exercises and this is something that they still do today. By observing nature, the Taoists developed acupuncture since they say that the body has a unique flow of energy and this affects different body parts in various ways. Because energy flows in different paths along the body, needles are usually placed on a person’s body. The procedure is not painful as it has helped in relieving body pain. Nowadays, the procedure has been adopted by many health care centers for therapeutic purposes. Moreover, institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Medical Association (AMA) have conducted research on acupuncture and found out that thy actually work.
Hinduism also plays a major role in modern medicine. This is because it incorporates the traditional arts of healing to enhance people mental, physical and emotional status. The various formed of arts include Yoga and ayurveda. This is because according to Hindu culture, a good process of healing enhances health and the general happiness of the individuals. Nowadays, yoga classes are global and people are encouraged to use such exercises to release tension and also for therapy.
Sikhism is a religious belief system in India that has uniquely defined a traditional way of counseling that is nowadays being adopted by various people. They usually follow the Sikh spiritual method of counseling which addresses issues like ego, self realization, meditation and spiritual liberation, five virtues that build on a persons strengths, five vices that should be eradicated as they make a person weak and the principle of humility. By looking at these factors, it is easy to counsel people as they can relate with the all of them. With increase in cultural diversity and cultures interacting, clinicians especially those in mental institutions, are adopting this practice in treating psychosomatic disorders so as to improve the mental health status of individuals.
Buddhism usually talks of the spiritual ways that are used to heal people. Buddhists believe that people need to remove the negative elements in life that cause them to suffer. That is why the Buddhists have developed methods and ways that can be used to promote healing and sound mind. This they do through meditations using incense, prayer flags among other things in combination with herbal medicines so as cure illnesses. People in the western world are beginning to embrace these practices as they have worked for people who previously were using other forms of treatment that failed to work.
To conclude, these are just some of the benefits that Eastern religious traditions have impacted on modern medicine and as research progresses and the world embraces the roles played by the Eastern belief systems, then the world will have cures to deal the more complex health cases like cancer and even Aids.
Woodhead L. (2002). Religions in the modern world: traditions and transformations
Routledge p. 364